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HomeCamps & ProgramsCamp Havvago
200pixpic023Camp Havvago is a "try it" camp with a 1:1 staff-to-camper ratio designed especially for youth and teens ages 7-17 on the Autism Spectrum. Campers are invited to “have a go” at experiencing the fun and excitement of overnight camp within a structured, safe, nurturing environment designed to set youth on the Spectrum up for success. Campers enjoy all the fun of camp - swimming, boating, crafts, nature exploration, campfires, cabin life, and more - all while building their social skills, independence, and self-confidence. The camp is 5 days and 4 nights long, and operates in conjunction with the Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts.
Want to see what it's all about? 
havvago enrolledloginAll too often, amazing youngsters with special needs don’t get the chance to go to camp because the programs aren’t designed to ensure their success. Camp Havvago is intentionally different, set up by therapeutic camping and family support experts to provide a successful and memorable experience for each individual child. We encourage you to learn more about this unique and wonderful opportunity for a respite and camp experience the way it should be – without stress!
Click on any of the sections below to learn more about Camp Havvago:
Who Can Attend Camp Havvago?

Applications for HARC Members 200pixpic021
Until March 15, application is reserved for campers who utilize the services of HMEA's Autism Resource Central in Central MA. If you are not currently an HARC family, but would like to become one, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an over-the-phone intake. You must live in one of these communities of Central MA to qualify for Intake. HARC members are eligible to apply for a "campership" from HARC towards the cost for Havvago, leaving a balance for the family to pay of $250 for the 5-day program ($80 of which is the deposit).
Open Registration
After March 15, any spaces left for Havvago will open to non-HMEA families on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to put your camper on a waiting list for Havvago so you will be contacted after March 15 if a space opens up, please contact Camp Starfish directly at 978-637-2617. Non-HMEA families pay the full cost of $635 for the 5-day camp.

Havvago Health & Meals

200pixpic004Spectrum- and Sensory- Friendly Meals
Our kid, parent and nutritionist-approved menu and snacks have no added sugars, candy, caffeine or junk. We bake everything - no frying! Each item served is separated in its own dish on the table (pasta, meatballs, sauce, etc.) so campers can plate the combinations that feel right to them. Fresh fruit, milk, 100% juice and water are offered at each meal, as well as a full salad bar at lunch and dinner. Gluten-free, vegetarian and other plans are all easily accomodated.

Our Havvago campers eat during a different time than our traditional campers attending the same week, so the dining hall, while still a large building, is quieter with much more available space. Campers who feel overwhelmed in the group eating setting have plenty of support from staff and may choose to take space outside anytime during the meal.   

Professional Health Care & Camper Supervision
Our Healthy House is staffed by full-time, on-site nurses with experience handling medication dispensing, illnesses, and injuries. In the unlikely event of a more serious concern or emergency, we are minutes away from the camp pediatrician and a full-service hospital. Our camp staff have completed one of the longest training programs in the industry and have been carefully hired and fully background checked. Campers are never out of sight of camp staff, including after lights out, when cabins are fully staffed all night long. 

Havvago Dates

200px207The 2020 Havvago Dates are:

Havvago: Monday, July 6 - Friday, July 10
Havvago Beachcombers: Monday, July 6 - Friday, July 10

Opening Day 
Your camper will be met by one of his/her cabin counselors, who will guide you through the check-in process and ensure a smooth transition to camp. Camp Directors, Autism Resource Center Directors, and the camp health professonals will all be on hand to welcome you to camp.  

Family Fun & Pick-Up
Family members and friends from home are invited to join us on the final day to view the session slideshow and have a celebration cookout, as well as an opportunity to meet and connect with other families and with our camp staff.  Campers will be encouraged to take their families and friends on a tour of camp. Parents will have a chance to check in with campers' Lead Counselor and Village Administrators to hear all about your child's camp experience.

Havvago Application Details

We're thrilled that you are interested in sending your child to Camp Havvago this summer!
200px209Basic Prerequisites
Camp Havvago is most appropriate for children who can bathroom themselves (nighttime/occasional accidents are fine) and who can feed themselves (a staff member sits next to each camper at meals to help with manners and healthy choices). Campers should be able to communicate - verbally or otherwise - enough to convey their basic needs.
To Apply for Camp
Applications for Havvago will be sent to applied families directly from Cid at HMEA Autism Resource Central. Deposits and payments also go through HMEA Autism Resource Central. The deposit is $80, and is applied towards camp fees. All initial applications must be made through the HMEA Autism Resource Central (

First-Time Camper Tours

200pixpic027Our campsite in Rindge, NH is closed through the winter and into the early Spring. Once the ground thaws and we get buildings opened up in preparation for summer, first-time Camp Havvago families will be invited to visit camp. We encourage you to visit camp prior to your child's first attendance because it helps your camper get a picture of what camp will be like, easing anxiety and stress about the unknown. During the visit, you will take a tour of camp, see a bunk, meet staff, and speak with the directors. Then, while your campers play outside with counselors, parents will attend a brief Q&A session. Dates will be provided to families after registration is completed.

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